Vikas, Gaurav enter semis of Strandja Memorial boxing

Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 23:
Former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) and the unheralded Gourav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semifinals to assure themselves of medals at the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament for men and women here.
While Gaurav pummelled Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev, Vikas edged past Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a split verdict late last night to make the last-four stage.
It is a significant victory for Vikas, who is returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, which forced him out of the national championships as well as the India Open last month.
Their victories took the total number of male boxers in the semifinals to four. Earlier, India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semifinal stage along with last edition’s silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).
India are now assured of nine medals in the tournament, five of them courtesy women boxers – M C Mary Kom (48kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Seema Punia (+81kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Mena Kumari Devi (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg).
While Mary Kom, Sarita, Saweety and Meena won their respective quarterfinal contests, Seema and Bhagyabati got byes. (PTI)